Monthly Archives: February 2013

the next stage has begun…


Yesterday was my last day of being employed until i can secure a new job!. I am now in the first throws of winding down in the UK, and preparing for my move back to NZ towards the end of the summer here in the northern hemisphere (thereby missing winter in NZ!!!).

I now have to secure some Maternity Nursing work, in order to pay off my debts, be able to afford to ship some of the 10 years worth of treasures i’ve accumulated home, and be able to fly home, rather than walk/swim!.

as i dont have a job to go to yet, and i need a break, i am planning on using these next couple of weeks to get some unfinished projects completed, start sorting and packing some things up, and planning some trips to European capitals, because, for all the years i’ve lived in the UK, i’ve hardly seen anything of Europe!. 

I’m hoping to have a few more things for show’n’tell over the next few weeks to liven up this blog!. 

right, where to begin……




for a long time now i’ve been making my own food – buying the single components and cooking up a meal, usually in bulk to put additional meals in the freezer. I very rarely buy preprocessed meals because of all the additives they put in the meals to keep them safe in the supermarket. now there is another excellent reason to make my own – the horse meat scandal that is appearing to sweep the country. every few days another revelation is revealed, and lets not forget pork being found in halal food!. all preprocessed food has now got to be tested to ensure it doesn’t contain horse!.

what disgusts me most is the sheer arrogance of some fat cat somewhere who’s being a greedy ‘s.o.b’ and deceiving others by substituting beef for horse and then peddling their product as beef lasagne or hamburger, which are then sold to people looking for food on the cheap.

its time to realise you get what you pay for, that business is not looking after you, the consumer – they are looking after their wallets and the fatter they can stuff them at your expense the better.

I dont know when business stopped being about the product and service and started being about greed, but its ugly!. i should know – i’m just finishing up working for someone with this mentality – money over product!. sadly not enough people feel the way i do, so the adage ‘voting with your wallet’ wont make a significant amount of difference.

its greed that makes me want to be self sufficient, so i’m not feeding the wallet of some a/hole somewhere who’s not concerned about supplying me with a quality product/service – they’re just after increasing their annual bonus!.

hmmm…..i get quite worked up about this topic!. best i stop now!.


House Crush


so, while i’ve been watching the rugby this afternoon, i’ve been doing some window shopping on the NZ real estate website!. hot on the heels of reading alot of the slow living posts i’ve been looking at lifestyle blocks and i’ve fallen in lurve…..

with this property….


its about 15 acres in North Canterbury, with a home that follows the style i love. lots of room to create a self reliant lifestyle as much as possible. lots of shelter from the winds that blow across the Canterbury Plains.

I’d have a big vegetable garden, an orchard and berries, and a herb garden. a greenhouse or polytunnel, a house cow, a few sheep and pigs, and of course some cats :-). Solar panels on the roof and a rain harvesting system on all the buildings to be as self reliant as possible!.

inside the interior is dated but liveable til it could be up dated. it has a log burner to keep me warm in the winter and enough rooms to have a dedicated craft room!.

its about 40mins north of Christchurch, and maybe about 20mins from a good friend.

short of not being able to afford it, on paper it seems a good place for me!!.

Dreams are free……

Slow Living Jan 2013


i’m afraid i dont have any pictures to go with this post!.

i’m linking up with the slow living essentials blog, where we stop and thing about what and how we do things in a more meaningful way.

NOURISH: Make and bake as much as possible from scratch. Ditch over packaged, over processed convenience foods and opt for ‘real’ food instead. Share favourite links/recipes/tips from the month here.

Since i got back from NZ, i’ve been very slow into getting back into making my own food and freezing portions. With all the horse meat being found in some cheaper pre prepared packaged food it’s really helped get my focus back into making my own. I don’t buy cheaper food products as a rule, so i’m fairly happy i haven’t consumed horse meat, but the whole scandal has reminded me that i need and should know what goes into my food, and where possible, grow/raise it myself.

PREPARE: Stockpile and preserve. Freeze extra meals or excess garden/market produce. Bottle/can, dehydrate or pickle foods to enjoy when they are not in season. Aim to reduce dependency on store bought items especially those known to contain BPA and other suspect additives. Stocking up on dry goods when prices are low counts too.

Mostly as above!!. However, while i was in NZ i read the ‘’Sweet Poison’’ book and am looking to majorly reduce or cut out completely sugar!. This means that i need to make more soups and sauces that i might have got out of a tin. Hopefully there will more news on this front next month!.
REDUCE: Cut down on household waste by re-using, re-purposing and repairing. A ladder into a strawberry planter? A sheet into a dress? Share ideas and project links here, allowing others to be inspired

Not alot going on here at present!. Well…i suppose i did reuse a plastic spray bottle for the homemade cleaner i made!.

GREEN: up our lives. Start (or continue!) using homemade cleaners, body products and basic herbal remedies. The options are endless, the savings huge and the health benefits enormous.
yess!!! – i made up what i’m going to call ‘Colombian Cleaner’  after the recipe was given to me by an ex student of mine who hails from Colombia. Its a lemon juice/vinegar/baking soda mix, probably much the same as other recipes floating round the net. I’ve only tried it twice so far, but am very happy with the results.

GROW: plant/harvest. What’s growing this month? What’s being eaten from the garden? Herbs in a pot, sprouts on a windowsill or and entire fruit/vegetable garden -opt for what fits space and time constraints. Don’t have a backyard? Ask a friendly neighbour or relative for a small patch of theirs in return for some home grown produce, they may surprise you!
i can only dream……i should be drooling over seed catalogues now!. I still have my blueberry, which has put on good growth since it was pruned before i went away. I will need to make sure that once the weather warms up, i sit it in an open window to attract some bees so they can do their bit!.

CREATE: to fill a need or feed the soul. Create for ourselves or for others. Create something as simple as a handmade gift tag or something as extravagant as a fine knit shawl. Share project details and any new skills learnt here.

At the moment i am into making mini albums, and have been thinking i need to get cracking on the quilt that’s been ‘in the works’ for a few years now!. I’ve been pouring over pinterest trying to find a pattern that is easy for a beginner, and that i like!. I’m getting there!.

DISCOVER: Feed the mind by reading texts relevant to current interests. Trawl libraries, second hand shops or local book shops to find titles that fill the need. Share titles/authors of what is being read this month

This month i discovered the Quilters series of books by Jennifer Chiaverini, which i am enjoying. Other than that, not a lot of reading beyond inspiration on blogs.

ENHANCE: community: Possibilities include supporting local growers & producers, help out at a local school/kindergarten, barter or foodswap, joining a playgroup or forming a walking or craft group. Car pooling where possible and biking/walking instead of driving. Even start up a blog if you haven’t already – online communities count too! Or maybe just help out someone trying to cross the street! The rewards for your time are often returned tenfold

Beyond walking as much as possible, i don’t have alot to share here – but i’m hoping that will change as i am changing jobs to one where i get to share my wealth of knowledge and experience.

ENJOY: Life! Embrace moments with friends and family. Marking the seasons, celebrations and new arrivals are all cause for enjoyment. Share a moment to be remembered from the month here.

I’m enjoying the last few weeks in a job that has been interesting and draining in equal measures!. These last few weeks with colleagues have been great fun full of lots of laughter!.